During the housing boom in Spain, thousands of British buyers, including the World Cup winning football player Geoff Hurst, paid for new build houses in Spain; but when the market crashed, many of them were left with unfinished houses due to developer bankruptcies and without the money they had paid.
Bufete Salmerón estimates that the average sums lost by British buyers is approximately 100,000 euros but there are many cases where the amount lost was far more than this as in the case of our client Geoff Hurst who paid 298,000 euros upfront to buy an off-plan apartment in the resort called Aloha Royal. This development belonged to the property development company DUJA which went into voluntarily insolvency leaving the apartments unfinished.
At the end of 2013, Bufete Salmerón became a pioneer after winning the first judgement forcing a bank to return the money paid in advance by buyers for houses that were left unfinished. Even though these buyers did not have a guarantee.
The judgement forced the bank not only to return the sums paid by the buyers but also to pay them 6% interest and the costs of the legal process.
According to the Official College of Land Registrars in Spain, this is especially positive news for British people as they are the largest group of foreign buyers who buy homes in our country, and more than half of them buy off-plan properties.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE judgement
In addition, this judgement is particularly significant because the buyers of the unfinished houses did not have a bank guarantee or insurance. However, the judge determined that the bank was responsible for the sums paid upfront. This fact provided thousands of buyers affected by the purchase of unfinished houses with the possibility to recover their money.
Legal arguments offered by Bufete Salmerón persuaded other Spanish judges to consider financial institutions responsible for the money paid in advance by buyers.
During the first semester of 2016, the Spanish High Court of Justice established jurisprudence in favour of those buyers affected by the purchase of an unfinished house.
During 2015, Bufete Salmerón succeeded in recovering 5.3 million euros for our clients from the UK, Ireland, France, Morocco, and Portugal from financial institutions. Our expectations are that this figure will double by the end of 2016, with an almost 100% rate for the firm.
GEOFF HURST’s case
When the property market in Spain crashed thousands of people were affected. Nowadays, uncompleted developments are a common feature of the urban landscape in some Spanish provinces.
Geoff Hurst, the former England football player, and iconic figure was one such person affected. In February 2004, Hurst bought an off-plan residence in the property development Aloha Royal, located in Marbella (Málaga, Spain).
The house was purchased from the property development company DUJA and was supposed to be ready in 2007. However, DUJA went voluntarily insolvent in 2012, leaving buyers, like Hurst who lacked a guarantee, with an unfinished house and without the money paid upfront, in this case 298,000 euros.
This issue has led to multiple headlines in the British and Spanish press, as in the case of Geoff, who was represented by Bufete Salmerón.
If you also bought a house in Spain and think you have lost your money, do not hesitate to contact us, by phone on +34 954 536 038 or by e-mail at email@example.com. If you send us the signed contract and documentation regarding any guarantees we will study your case and give you our legal opinion on your case with total transparency.
Photo by Stuart Miles (Freedigitalphotos)